In this book he explains the effects that target setting, work standardisation, back office systems etc. have on the quality and cost of work thats is done in service organisations.
I found this really chimes with my ideas of what is wrong in organisations, where the jobs are de-skilled and check box processes are supposed to replace knowledge. Unlike me, John has ideas of a better way and he has been developing and testing it in the real world.
The key points are: find out what the customer wants by asking them. Measure how good your organisation is at doing the things customers want. Design the workflow ("the way the work works", according to John) to accept the variation in demands made on it by customers. Put the skilled poeple who can fix customers' concerns at the front end of the service and have them work directly with customers. Service work contains lots more variation than manufacturing work does, which is why straight application of the toyota Production System does not work. Much of the demand in service providers is failure demand - rework.
I read this book a couple of years ago and I have read John's other books since; but this is the best place to start, as it gives a good overview. Since I read it the Baby P tragedy happened and this book is now more important than ever. Not only can John's method save millions of pounds in costs, increase user satisfaction, get you served quicker and more accurately, it could save lives.
Buy it, read it, send one to your MP.